It is lovely to have a family holiday when the kids are still small. Just think of the lazy days on the beach building sandcastles and getting sticky from too many ice creams. But we all know it’s not really that idyllic, especially when they get sick or their routines fly out the window.
A completely different challenge befalls a parent when trying to have a nice relaxing holiday with a teenager on the backseat. It can be a bit like being stuck in a small, contained space with a fire-breathing monster. Whether you are staying local or planning a trip abroad, don’t let your teenagers become a problem.
There are a few things you can try to create an enjoyable holiday for the whole family.
Tips for traveling with teens
Involve your teenagers from the start. This rare breed suffers from a permanent form of fomo (fear of missing out).
They can’t stand missing out on a party or fun with friends, especially if they have to hang out with their parents instead. Don’t take it personally, though. Expect a bit of resistance. The best way to temper the moaning is to allow them to help you plan your holiday.
Road trips are perfect for this. Let your teen pick out various routes, places and stops they would like to visit.
Find a balance and set boundaries. The last thing you want, is that your teen spends the majority of the trip glued to their screens.
As you can’t ban it (for fear of a revolt) discuss fair boundaries and decide together on what is acceptable and what not.
Have an adventure. Try and add a few activities that will get your teen’s adrenalin rushing – if, of course, that is something they might enjoy.
Give them space and independence as far as possible. Choose a safe destination that they can explore on their own.
A good internet connection is (almost) a must. Try to visit places with reliable wifi.
Keep them fed and let them sleep.
Teenagers, much like babies, need to be fed regularly and sleep a lot. Because they are usually night owls, try to limit the sunrise excursions and plan your adventures for later in the day, preferably after a massive, greasy breakfast.
It doesn’t have to be unbearable to travel with your teen. Try to discuss honestly what your and their expectations are and be willing to compromise.